For over 30 years, Karen and Barry Mason have owned and operated Circus of Books, Los Angeles’ most famous adult bookstore, which has long been a favorite of gay and straight porn lovers from all walks of life. Over the years, the store has been patronized by famous folk like Elton John, Drew Carey and David Hockney, along with countless gay men to whom the shop became an invaluable meeting place and an important piece of the fabric of life in West Hollywood, L.A.’s foremost LGBT district. But despite the importance of Circus of Books to men all over the world, brick and mortar bookstores and DVD rental shops have long been slowly fading. Now that the majority of porn is available on the Internet for free, the Masons’ business has taken a severe hit.
CIRCUSOFBOOKS documentary will trace the Masons’ remarkable history of finding themselves the proprietors of the premier gay porn shop, the history and significance oft he store in Los Angeles and the gay community in particular and the personal ups and downs the business has brought to the observant Jewish couple and their family. We’ll spend time with the colorful and straight talking Masons as they slowly come to reconcile that the store’s best years are well behind them and observe their struggle with the decision of when to close the failing store. The film will feature interviews with many of the Masons’ employees and colleagues in the porn industry as well as their closest friends and family members. At a time when an entire world of porn is only a click away, CIRCUS OF BOOKS tells the story of a very different era and the unlikely couple who brought gay porn to L.A.